Thoughts on Biases

Thoughts on Biases

"Anything that makes it easier for the associative machine to run smoothly will also bias beliefs," writes Daniel Kahneman in his book Thinking Fast and Slow. Biases are an unavoidable part of our thinking. They can lead to terrible prejudices, habits, and meaningless preferences, but they can also help save us a lot of time, … Continue reading Thoughts on Biases

Recognize Situations Where Mistakes Are Common

Recognize Situations Where Mistakes Are Common

"Because System 1 operates automatically and cannot be turned off at will, errors of intuitive thought are often difficult to prevent," writes Daniel Kahneman in Thinking Fast and Slow. System 1 is how Kahneman describes the intuitive, quick reacting part of our brain that continually scans the environment and filters information going to System 2, … Continue reading Recognize Situations Where Mistakes Are Common

The Challenge with Low N Events

The Challenge with Low “n” Events

There are a handful of things we only do once or twice in our lives. Many of us probably aspire to only get married a single time, only select a single school to attend for college, and only take a vacation to a foreign country one time. These low "n" experiences, or low frequency occurrences,  … Continue reading The Challenge with Low “n” Events

Living Under Constraints

Living Under Constraints

In Letters From a Stoic, Seneca quotes Epicurus in writing, “It is wrong to live under constraint; but no man is constrained to live under constraint.”   Quite frankly, Seneca and Epicurus are wrong. The stoic thinkers make two arguments in the short quote, and both fail to live up to the reality of humankind's … Continue reading Living Under Constraints

Judicial Sentencing and Daylight Saving Time

Our justice system in the United States is not the greatest system that we have developed. In recent years a lot of attention has been paid to disparities in sentencing and ways in which the system doesn't seem to operate fairly. For instance possession of the same amount crack cocaine and powder cocaine carried different … Continue reading Judicial Sentencing and Daylight Saving Time

Everything Matches

Tyler Cowen is worried about our matching technology. We have algorithms which tell us what TV shows to watch, which books to read, what wine to drink, and what shoes to wear. We can be matched with romantic partners and music, and very often our matching gives us exactly what we wanted and were hoping … Continue reading Everything Matches

A Glitch in Voting With Our Feet

In the United States, we hold on to terrific myths about the power of the individual. We celebrate (mostly) entrepreneurs like Elon Musk who bring us new technologies and cool cars, and we have magazines focused entirely on major business leaders whose insight and innovation power our most successful companies. We believe that individuals hold … Continue reading A Glitch in Voting With Our Feet